When it comes to education, Aleissya Ruiz’s parents tell her to go above and beyond.
That’s just what the 10-year-old tries to do at the Meadows School, where she relishes learning cursive handwriting and dreams of becoming both a veterinarian and a doctor.
“They know I will do great in the school, and they’re really happy that I’m actually here,” she said of her mom and dad.
Her enrollment at the private Summerlin school wouldn’t be possible without the Windsong Scholarship, which is given out to five students each year whose families demonstrate financial need. After qualifying for the program, both Aleissya and her 7-year-old sister Makayla are locked in for a 12-year education as long as they maintain good grades, otherwise remain in good standing and continue to show a financial need.
With tuition ranging from $16,810 at its “beginning school” for pre-kindergarten students to $26,600 for high school, that’s an investment that grows in value with each passing year.
The Meadows also says on its website that 100 percent of its graduates have been accepted into four-year colleges and universities since its first graduating class in 1991.
The scholarship, funded by the Windsong Trust that was created to aid K-12 education, began six years ago and has generated over $1.6 million in aid. The Meadows currently has 32 scholars in the program in grades K-6.
Families must have a combined income that does not exceed $110,000 and must be able to afford incidental costs of enrollment, such as uniforms and lunch. Applicants must be incoming kindergartners who pass the school’s kindergarten testing for admission.
Recipients still make a monthly tuition payment, ranging from $100 to $750, based on their income and ability to pay.
For Aleissya’s parents, Alina and Daniel, it’s an opportunity to escape the crowded classrooms in public school and provide their daughters with an education that focuses on the whole child.
“I really love the program here because … they have small classrooms and they really take the time to focus on the child and really get to know them,” Alina Ruiz said.
Daniel Ruiz works as a chef at a preschool, the Watch Me Grow Child Development Center, where his wife also works as an assistant director.
After qualifying for the scholarships, the family was committed to a long commute from their North Las Vegas home to the school in Summerlin, with after-school pick-up help from the girls’ grandparents.
While both parents graduated from the Clark County School District, Daniel Ruiz said it has changed a lot since when he went to school.
“It’s very important for me that my kids have the best education,” he said. “(Aleissya) has high standards on where she wants to be when she becomes an adult. So if it’s going to help her succeed in life, then I’m grateful that she’s here.”
The Meadows School is currently accepting scholarship applications for the 2019-20 school year and will conduct tours, testing and interviews in November and December, according to the school. Scholarships are awarded in January. Interested parents whose children will be starting kindergarten next year can call the Advancement Office at 702-797-5881.